Facelift for RDU's Terminal 1 nearing completion
Posted February 5
Raleigh, N.C. — Construction crews responsible for the major facelift of Raleigh-Durham International Airport's Terminal 1 are on schedule to finish the remodel by March 2, airport officials said Wednesday.
Work began in July 2012, but because the terminal did not need to be built from the ground up, it will cost about 90 percent less than the $570 million spent to build Terminal 2. RDU spokesman Andrew Sawyer said Wednesday that the project is on budget at around $68 million.
The new terminal will be able to accommodate 3 million passengers a year through nine gates. Southwest Airlines will occupy five of the gates, and the remaining four will allow other airlines to add flights in years to come. The terminal will also offer expanded ticketing, security checkpoints and baggage claim areas and add shops, restaurants and other amenities for travelers.
Sawyer said the old "blue box" familiar to Triangle travelers was in need of an upgrade.
"Parts of Terminal 1 opened in 1955. We have taken one of the sections of the building and completely reinvented and modernized it," he said. "We're looking forward to bringing the world-class travel experience from Terminal 2 over here to Terminal 1."
One of the updates that gadget-savvy travelers will notice is the availability of power outlets in the gate areas. More outlets will allow travelers to connect and charge electronic devices.
Five new shops and six new restaurants will be in the terminal, including the first-ever ACC American Cafe, a restaurant with a sports theme.
"It's a high-end restaurant. They will have steak, seafood and American fare," Sawyer said. "There will be televisions looping classic games, there will be memorabilia. It's going to be a wonderful place."
The public will have a chance to preview the changes on Feb. 15 during an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sawyer said the airport will have more than 30 exhibits, food giveaways, drawings for tickets. Marbles Kids Museum will have a kid zone, and representatives from the Atlantic Coast Conference will also be on hand.